From heartbreak to healing: Area woman helping families of stillborn babies in honor of late son

An eastern Iowa woman is helping other families who go through a stillbirth in honor of her late son.

At just 20 weeks, Danielle Franck’s water broke. Her own son, whom she named Tanner, was stillborn.

She said, "All of a sudden things happened, and my water broke out of nowhere. We had no idea that we would be having problems in the pregnancy." She continued, "It was hard because you start to have dreams and plans for your baby’s future, and then all of a sudden they are gone."

She described the feeling as extremely "isolating".

Franck said, "I still went through the delivery and I had him but he wasn’t breathing, I didn’t get to hear him cry, I didn’t get to feed him and bring him home and have all the happy memories that you have with a baby."

In a search of healing, she found a way to honor Tanner John and help others. Franck drops off care packages for families of stillborns at Allen and Covenant hospitals. The boxes send the message, "you are not alone". 

Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Covenant Family Birth Center Suzanne Bellinger said, "Families have something in their arms when they leave and pieces of everything in that box mean something to Danielle and her family."

Franck is now raising money to give area hospitals a CuddleCot, a bassinet that cools the baby’s body, giving families more time to say goodbye. Without one, a family can only spend a few hours with their stillborn. Franck had a CuddleCot at the hospital and was able to spend 12 memorable hours with Tanner, it’s time she says every family deserves.

Franck said, "It allowed us to make memories that we otherwise wouldn’t have had."

Each CuddleCot costs $3,000. If you would like to help donate, visit here: https://www.gofundme.com/tanner-cuddlecot-campaign

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